Lavrov to Discuss SCO Summit Preparations and Global Situation at Ministerial Council Meeting

21 May

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Foreign Ministers' Council meeting, where he will discuss preparations for the upcoming SCO summit (scheduled for July 3-4) and address current international and regional issues. Special attention will be given to the prospects for further development of the SCO and its adaptation to the evolving global order.


The Foreign Ministers will also address the tragic events in Iran, including the deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hosein Amir Abdollahian in a helicopter crash. Abdollahian had been scheduled to attend the meeting.


The ministers will consider candidates for the new SCO Secretary General and the Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure. Lavrov is expected to hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the gathering.


Summit in Astana


The participants will prepare a package of various documents for approval by the heads of state. The final political declaration will record agreed assessments of the SCO member states on the global situation and trends, as well as consolidated approaches to promoting diverse cooperation within the organization, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.


At the summit on July 3-4, Belarus will become a full-fledged member state of the SCO. The Belarusian side has demonstrated its readiness to significantly contribute to the organization. Consequently, the SCO will include 10 member states, 14 dialogue partner states, and 2 observer states, extending geographically from South and Southeast Asia to the Middle East and Europe.


According to SCO Deputy Secretary General Sohail Khan, the leaders will endorse an energy strategy for cooperation.


The Moscow-Beijing Dimension


During Russian President Vladimir Putin's state visit, he and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to strengthen cooperation within the SCO. The joint statement emphasized coordinated efforts to further develop the SCO as a credible and influential multilateral association, enhancing its role in shaping a just, sustainable, and multipolar world order. Moscow and Beijing also agreed to improve the organization's activities and strengthen cooperation in politics, security, economy, and humanitarian ties to transform Eurasia into a common space of peace, stability, mutual trust, development, and prosperity. After the Astana summit, China will assume the SCO chairmanship.


New World Order


The main topic on the foreign policy agenda, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, is the formation of a new global world order. Russia emphasizes the creation of a framework for equal and indivisible security in Eurasia, based on close interaction among Eurasian countries without external interference.


The ministers will discuss the situation in Gaza and the broader Middle East, issues related to stabilizing Afghanistan, and combating terrorist and drug threats. The Russian delegation is expected to present its assessments of the Ukrainian conflict.


Russian Efforts


Russia has prioritized deepening foreign policy coordination, enhancing the SCO's role in international and regional affairs, and strengthening political and security cooperation within the organization. Additionally, Russia has contributed significantly to promoting cooperation in the development of remote and rural areas, countering epidemic threats, enhancing regional interactions, and facilitating mutual settlements in national currencies. The SCO also discusses Russian proposals in creative economy, international information security, sports, and healthcare.

SCO for Justice


SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming, in an interview with TASS, emphasized the organization's commitment to creating a more representative, democratic, fair, and multipolar world order. This vision is based on "the universally recognized principles of international law, multilateralism, equal rights, solidarity, indivisibility, comprehensive and sustainable security, cultural and civilizational diversity, and mutually beneficial and equal cooperation between states under the central coordinating role of the United Nations."


Regarding the economic sphere, Zhang Ming highlighted that the use of national currencies in mutual settlements would boost trade and investment cooperation among member states. To address current threats, he pointed out that the SCO countries are focusing on cooperation in digital transformation, industrial collaboration, sustainable economic development, innovation, poverty alleviation, and combating climate change.


The SCO was founded on June 15, 2001, in Shanghai. Originally consisting of six countries—Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan—it expanded to include India and Pakistan in 2017 and Iran in 2023.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

Based on materials from TASS